Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The December Darkness

Many people have sent me messages, both as comments on my post here and on Facialbook.

I am truly touched by the support.

One thing many people asked is how I can think the way I do, especially after seeing what happened after Lisa Empanada killed herself.

People don't understand.

I'm so glad of that.

I've often said to cisgender people that they should be glad that they don't understand what it means to be Trans, as the only way to understand it is to suffer with it.  I accept this as a Truism.

And so it is with the Darkness.

Holiday Blues?

For those new to the blog, the Darkness is my term for the suicidal depression that afflicts so many of us.  As we have all heard from NCTE, 41% of TGs attempt suicide.  I argue that number is low, as it only counted survivors.  I am one of the 41%, having attempted back in 1990, and coming close a couple of other times.

How can I seek death?  How can I even contemplate it?  How does the Darkness infect one so much?  I've been asked this by many people.  And my answer is this: Be glad you DON'T understand it.  To understand it is to suffer with it.  

That's how I connected with Lisa Emapanda at first.  We both knew the Darkness well.  We did our best to keep each other away from it, until, finally, I failed and she died.

I used to have a saying myself, before I transitioned. "If someone hits you in the head enough times with a baseball bat, you WILL go down." Yes, I was violent back then.

But the point is, a person can only take so much before they break. The Darkness never leaves me- it's always there, quietly calling for me. Usually I have the strength to ignore it (obviously, as I am still alive.) Sometimes though, the world hits me in the head too many times. The Darkness grabs me by the throat and won't let go.

As a former paramedic, I have seen death up close. I have heard the dying screams of a child burning to death. I have held a good friend in my arms as he breathed his last breath after a car accident, imploring me to save him. Death and I are old friends. I see Death as Peace.  Final peace.

It's from there that the Darkness calls... Peace. That's what Lisa Empanada sought when she killed herself. In the end, that's all I want- Peace. To be able to live a life that matters. If life doesn't matter, then why bother living it? And at this time, I don't see my life as mattering. What am I? I'm an overeducated retail worker who can barely afford to keep a roof over her head. I'm a statistic. And that is all. I like to think I have the potential for so much more, and that is why I fight. But fights are violent. See "baseball bat" above.

Several people suggested I work through this with a therapist.  Well, my therapist retired in February.  And therapy costs money.  The gender specialists around here don't accept insurance.  So it's a choice of paying the rent or getting therapy.  And as the rent also affects my roomie and bestie Linda, I pay the rent.  

I'm out of the Darkness I was in a few days ago.  All the problems are still with there though.  And they will be until I find some solutions.  Solutions like a better paying job.  Solutions like rebuilding my self esteem.  Losing weight.

My dream of total transition will never come true.  I accept that.  I will never have the money.  So I will be somewhere between genders physically for the rest of my life.  I can wish all I want, but wishes don't pay the bills.

Anyway, there's where I am today as 2015 fades to black.  2016 is coming.  I have no idea what it will hold, but if it's like 2015, it will be more of the same.

Be well.  


  1. People don't get that there is a siren song of peace in oblivion. They don't know the constant warfare that we live with every day. From a society that has not interest in allowing us peace any other way. From employment, to the interactions with the public, to bathrooms, to medical care, there is always a struggle that 'regular' people never know. They don't know about the constant din of battle we face. They do not know the crushing fatigue that is a constant companion. They don't know the allure of the final sleep no more battles, o more din, just quiet peace. All we have for motivation is that will-o*wisp of hope that one day it will get better that we chase but never get close much less catch. It seems a fruitless pursuit most days ...even insanity (doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results0 but we do it one more day just to make our loved ones feel better in the end only we know this pain. Today I decided to live. Tomorrow ..I'll make that decision then.

    1. I have never read a more perfect explanation. May I repost this, giving you full credit?

  2. Sophie -

    [ I'm out of the Darkness I was in a few days ago. All the problems are still with there though. And they will be until I find some solutions. Solutions like a better paying job. Solutions like rebuilding my self esteem. Losing weight.]

    OK - Are you looking for that better paying job? I'm having problems on my end, but not like what you have.... I'm fortunate enough to have good savings. But you can figure out ways to build self esteem and to lose weight. (I've been lazy in regard to the latter.)

    Yes, the darkness may always be with you, but it's not because you're trans. Depression is a nasty animal, and something you'll always have to be proactive about. Never let your supply of needed drugs go to zero. (I deal with low grade depression on my own, and am thankful not to depend on pills as I have enough meds I take on a daily basis.)

    [My dream of total transition will never come true. I accept that. I will never have the money. So I will be somewhere between genders physically for the rest of my life. I can wish all I want, but wishes don't pay the bills.]

    Are you sure of that? Doesn't your company's insurance cover GRS? If you figured out a way to get that better job, could you save for GRS done as a medical tourist in Thailand? Or, would you require a better known North American surgeon?

    I've found that women usually accept me as a peer - as I do not change the dynamics of their social circles. Do you find that happening for you? Or, do you not have the time to socialize with cisgender women as a peer?

    Social and medical transition takes a lot of work - and I know you are capable of that hard work, given the hours you have to put in to keep a roof over your head.....


  3. You have so many skills (paramedic, teacher) just based on your recent posts. Why toil away at a poverty level job? Your daughter (who sounds adorable) should be more than enough to live for!!!! Happy new year

  4. Sophie,

    I understand, but I believe in the Matrix and that anything is possible. As Captain James T. Kirk once said, "There is always a solution".

    I have felt the darkness calling. I fight by trying to find a solution and bending reality toward a positive future.